Monday, March 27, 2006

More on Ruse v. Dennett and Dawkins

There is a rather funny "comment" in the The Guardian today, in which Madeleine Bunting joins Michael Ruse in criticizing Dawkins and Dennett. However, Bunting apparently does not seem to realize that she is doing the very thing she criticizes in making this statement:
Dennett cites those who argue that faith improves cooperation within groups (though not between them). This argument raises the crucial question of whether, in an era of globalisation and limited resources, religion has outrun its evolutionary advantage.

So she suggests that a crucial question for us all to consider (including public school children, presumably) is whether religion is obsolete based on evolutionary theory. But she criticizes Dawkins and Dennett for promoting a "false conflict" between evolutionary theory and faith. Huh? I find her logical inconsistency quite humorous.

She makes the same mistake that many others do: not being clear and consistent in her definitions of terms. Theism is not inconsistent with some forms and aspects of evolutionary theory. However, it most definitely is in conflict with a staunchly materialistic version of the theory, which is the version promoted by most scientists, when they are not trying to fool the general public.

This also supports my contention that both intelligent design and macroevolutionary theory involve, to some extent, science and philosophy, and both have very obvious implications for religion. Bunting focuses on the "false dichotomy" question, but neglects the more important and subtle issue of the religious implications of evolutionary theory. Would it be constitutional to have a teacher in the mold of PZ Myers teaching public school students what he thinks the religious implications of evolutionary theory are?

In praising Ruse, she ignores something else that he says, which is that scientists have to be vigilant in keeping their evolutionism religion separate from their evolution science.

Hat tip to a comment on Uncommon Descent.


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